Troubleshooting Airbrush Spray Guns Problem

Are you new to airbrushing? Below are some of the common problems you may encounter, and their potential cause and solution. The list is not exhaustive. If you encounter a problem that is not on the list, feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to help you.

 

ProblemCauseCorrection
Fluid is leaking from the packing nut
  1. The packing nut is loose
  2. The Packing is worn or dry
  1. Tighten the packing, do not bind the needle
  2. Replace or lubricate the packing
Air is leaking from the front of the gun
  1. The air valve is sticking
  2. There is foreign matter on the air valve or seat
  3. The air valve or seat is worn or damaged
  4. The air valve spring is broken
  5. The valve stem is bent
  6. You have a damaged or missing air valve gasket
  1. Lubricate
  2. Clean
  3. Replace
  4. Replace
  5. Replace
  6. Replace
There is fluid leaking or dripping from the front of the pressure feed gun
  1. The packing is dry
  2. The packing nut is too tight
  3. The fluid tip or needle is worn or damaged
  4. There is foreign matter in the tip
  5. The fluid spring needle is broken
  6. You are using the wrong size needle or tip
  1. Lubricate
  2. adjust
  3. Replace the tip and needle with lapped set
  4. Clean
  5. Replace
  6. Replace
 

 

Jerky or fluttering spray

All Feed Systems

  1. The fluid tip or seat is damaged or loose
  2. The packing is dry or the fluid needle packing nut is loose
  3. The material level is too low
  4. The container is tipped too far
  5. There is an obstruction in the fluid passage
  6. The fluid tube or fluid inlet nipple is loose or broken

Suction feed only

  1. The material is too heavy
  2. The air vent is clogged
  3. The lid is damaged, loose or dirty
  4. The fluid tube is resting on the cup bottom
  5. The gasket behind the fluid tip is damaged
All Feed Systems

  1. Tighten or replace
  2. Lubricate or tighten packing nut
  3. Refill
  4. Hold more upright
  5. Back flush the feed system with solvent
  6. Tighten or replace the fluid tube or fluid inlet

Suction feed only

  1. Thin or reduce the material
  2. Clear the vent passage
  3. Tighten, replace or clean the coupling nut
  4. Tighten or shorten the fluid tube
  5. Replace the gasket
 Top or bottom heavy spray patterntop or bottom heavy paint pattern
  1. The horn holes are plugged
  2. There is obstruction on the top or bottom of the fluid tip
  3. The cap and/or tip seat is dirty
  1. Clean with ream using non-metallic point (e.g. toothpick)
  2. Clean
  3. Clean with ream using non-metallic point (e.g. toothpick)
Right or Left heavy spray patternRight or Left Heavy Spray Pattern
  1. The horn holes are plugged
  2. Dirt on left or right side of fluid tip
  1. Clean with ream using non-metallic point (e.g. toothpick)
  2. Clean

*To remedy the top, bottom, right, left heavy patterns:

First determine if the obstruction is on the air cap or fluid tip. Do this by doing a solid test spray. Then, move the cap one-half turn and spray another pattern.

  1. If the fault is reversed, the obstruction is on the air cap. – Clean the cap as previously instructed.
  2. If the fault is not reversed, the clogged is on the fluid tip.  – Check for a fine burr on the edge of the fluid tip. Remove it with #600 wet or dry sandpaper.
  3. Check for dried paint just inside the opening and remove it by washing with solvent

Right or Left heavy spray patternCenter heavy spray pattern

  1. Fluid pressure is too high for atomisation air (pressure feed)
  2. The material flow exceeds the air cap’s capacity
  3. The spreader adjustment valve is set too low
  4. The atomisation pressure is too low
  5. The material is too thick
  1. Balance air and fluid pressure. Increase spray pattern width
  2. Thin or reduce the fluid flow
  3. Adjust the valve
  4. Increase the pressure
  5. Thin the material to the correct consistency

Right or Left heavy spray patternSplit spray pattern

  1. Fluid adjustment knob is turn too far
  2. Atomisation air pressure is too high
  3. Fluid pressure is too low (pressure feed)
  4. The fluid tip you are using is too small
  1. Back out counter-clockwise to increase flow
  2. Reduce at the pressure at regulator
  3. Increase fluid pressure
  4. Use a larger size fluid tip
Starved Spray Pattern
  1. The material flow is inadequate
  2. The suction feed has low atomisation air pressure
  1. Back out the fluid adjusting screw to first thread or increase the fluid pressure
  2. Increase the air pressure and re-balance the gun
Unable to form a round spray pattern
  1. The fan adjustment stem is not seating properly
  1. Clean or replace
Dry spray
  1. The air pressure is too high
  2. The material is not properly reduced (suction feed problem)
  3. The gun is too far from the surface
  4. The gun motion is too fast
  1. Lower the air pressure
  2. Reduce the material to the correct consistency and temperature
  3. Adjust to the correct distance
  4. Slow down
Excessive overspray
  1. High atomisation air pressure
  2. The gun is too far from the surface
  3. You are using improper technique (e.g. arcing, or too fast gun speed)
  1. Reduce the air pressure
  2. Use the correct gun distance
  3. Slow the gun speed and keep the gun parallel to your work surface
Excessive fog
  1. Too much thinner or too fast drying thinner
  2. High atomisation air pressure
  1. Remix with correct reducer and at the right temperature
  2. Reduce the air pressure
Not spraying
  1. You’re using a pressure feed cap or tip with suction feed
  2. Gun has no pressure
  3. The fluid needle is not retracting
  4. The fluid needle is too heavy (suction feed problem)
  1. Use suction feed cap/tip
  2. Check the air lines
  3. Open the fluid adjusting screw
  4. Reduce the fluid viscosity or change the pressure feed
Runs and sags
  1. There’s too much material flow
  2. The material is too thin
  3. The gun is tilted at an angle
  1. Adjust the gun or reduce the fluid pressure
  2. Mix the material correctly or apply light coats
  3. Hold the gun at a right angle to work and adjust accordingly
Thin, sandy coarse finish drying before it flows out
  1. The spray gun is too far from the surface
  2. There is too much air pressure
  3. You are using the wrong thinner
  1. Check the distance. Generally, it’s 6 – 8″ for HVLP spray guns, and 8 – 10″ for conventional spray guns
  2. Reduce the air pressure and check the spray pattern
  3. Follow the paint manufacturer’s mixing instruction
Thick, dimpled finish, like an ‘orange peel.’

Too much material coarsely atomised

  1. The spray gun is too close to the surface
  2. The air pressure is too low
  3. You are using the wrong thinner
  4. The material is not correctly mixed
  5. Your work surface is rough, oily and/or dirty
  1. Check the distance. Generally, it’s 6 – 8″ for HVLP spray guns, and 8 – 10″ for conventional spray guns
  2. Increase the air pressure or reduce the fluid pressure
  3. Follow the paint manufacturer’s mixing instruction
  4. Follow the paint manufacturer’s mixing instruction
  5. Clean and prepare you work surface properly